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My first PPF install...

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by BlueOvalFan, Dec 28, 2019.

  1. BlueOvalFan

    BlueOvalFan Member

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    #1 BlueOvalFan, Dec 28, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    Thought I would share the results of my PPF install over the summer...

    Since I’m a heavy commuter traveling about 75 miles a day and 90% of the time on the freeway my vehicles over the years seem to take a beating as a result of rocks and misc road debris. Because of the MS low and sloping hood it was a must to get some protection of some sorts on my hood and front bumper before it was too late.

    In order to get this project underway I needed to repair the misc paint chips that were preexisting. I purchased a Dr Color Chip kit to aid in this effort to some limited success. First off this stuff is not an equivalent effort to a paint booth and spray gun. Deep scratches will not look new again, but it will certainly help hide blemishes that were easily detected from 5-feet away, and now one must get about 12-inches away to see the original scratch—not bad. Where this stuff really started to shine were the much small chips about the size of a pencil/pen head—almost completely eliminated those.

    With that out of the way I gave the front and hood a good wipe down and started in with my PPF. For this job I choose 3M Pro Series. From my research it was more or less on par with the other main stream brands, but honestly I choose it simply for its price point—it was a fair bit cheaper via a wholesaler. This is were the fun begins...

    Mind you I’ve never touch PPF before this event, but did my fair share of internet sleuthing and felt I had a pretty good understanding of the process. First off I’d say this is definitely a two man show to obtain the best results but as luck would have it I’d felt more inclined to punish myself by going it alone. Also, the film will ‘stick’ quite readily as the ambient temp rises which makes it hard to keep the film wet (outside/underside) as you work hood. You’re constantly lifting sparing and chasing the bubbles and water out from beneath the film—keep a watchful eye out for contaminates too.

    For the solution I had four bottles at the read. Three of them had J&J baby shampoo and distilled water which is the slip solution. Put this on heavy and often—can’t overdue in my opinion. The other bottle had isopropyl alcohol to help setup the film quicker on the edges. Squeegees used we’re both blue and yellow...couldn’t really tell the difference between the two.

    I decided to roll the edges to provide a more stealth appearance. However since I am a rookie at this there were a few flaws that I can see. I will say that almost everyone I showed couldn’t find a thing wrong, and even had a hard time telling if there was even film there to start with.

    My point to the tread is to provide some confidence in others that applying a quality film is not that difficult. Don’t let the ‘Pros’ convince you only they can do it. A little research, some practice (buy some smaller sheets first) you can get some pretty good results.

    Here’s my hood right after application...if you look close enough I bet you can see the pre-existing rock chips I touched up.
    DED5B88C-B5C3-41DA-A021-64CC45A56659.jpeg 16811CE8-9D89-44B6-9540-768D5511B48C.jpeg 49289C48-6893-4F1F-940C-1B52ACBD47EB.jpeg 517E3293-D39A-4F08-8064-A87AF5F96FAB.jpeg 18224D23-C85B-49BA-9F16-CCED3591A24C.jpeg B86763CD-477B-4B7E-9714-FB26607C45FC.jpeg DBCC81F7-1FAE-4B5A-A238-13648ED9029B.jpeg
     

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  2. jkoya

    jkoya NA2 NSX

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    Looks great - Nice job on the PPF install !!! Thanks for sharing your experience.
     
  3. Ostrichsak

    Ostrichsak Active Member

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    You mention it was cheaper but you didn't ultimately give any final price comparisons which is what most people who are considered this undertaking are going to want to know.
     
  4. Dukeybootie

    Dukeybootie Member

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    As a fellow high mileage commuter (100 miles daily, 98% freeway), allow me to add that changing my driving style to increase my following distance has done more to help with chips and road rash than the PPF on the front of the car. I am currently on my third application of front hood XPEL with 96k miles.

    Just my 2 cents =)
     
  5. BlueOvalFan

    BlueOvalFan Member

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    #5 BlueOvalFan, Dec 28, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2019
    I believe you are asking the cost breakdown between a pro install verse a DIY...? I’m sure prices will vary wildly across the country and you’ll have to seek out your own cost/reward benefit. However if you just do a simple comparison on eBay between 3M Pro and XPel Ultimate bulk sheets, the latter will cost you about 30% more for a 72”x60” sheet. That’s what I meant regarding my price point selection.

    In my case the local shop wanted about $1800 for a full hood, fenders and bumper install which seems outrageous to me—even more so now that I understand the level of effort for the install. Not only that they were using some off brand film I’ve never heard of, certainly not the stuff folks talk about on this forum.

    I have yet to tackle the front fenders (hood and bumper are done) but suspect I will be into the car by no more than $700 with supplies and all. On a side note I did use a kit for the front bumper...too many contours to deal with on my own without help.

    I might even considering doing the doors but really not interested in taking the door handles apart to wrap. I’ve found a wholesaler who can cut out the door handles but leave me a couple of inches of overlapped all the way around the door—I might go this route and suspect the seam around the handle is a minor nuisance. Should look like the below M3 picture which is acceptable to me.

    83C3D952-7292-45F9-B40F-ECD24DAE634A.jpeg

    Here’s a great set of videos as a reference...








    Most of the time I do the same but the traffic patterns I combat wouldn’t allow for such a gap—someone will no doubt fill the void space as these idiots think we are racing for pole position.

    Similarly to you, my film has taken soon good hits and have to say the self heeling properties of the film are outstanding. A little love from the heat gun allows the material to “rest” the tear edges quite well. Scratches virtually disappear.

     
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